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Spaying and neutering

Did you know that neutering has health benefits for your pet? Research shows that spayed or neutered pets live longer and have reduced risks of a variety of health problems, including womb infections and certain types of cancer.

Timing

Most veterinarians recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered before 8 months of age.

Why Spay or Neuter Your Kitten?

Unless you're planning to breed your new kitten, spaying and neutering are the best thing you can do to help your kitten enjoy life to the fullest. Why? Because not only will you avoid the worry of unplanned pregnancy in female cats, but also most male cats will be less likely to engage in sexual behavior such as spraying and howling, which can be very unpleasant. And the urge to roam and travel away from home to find a mate will be eliminated.

Worries you may have

1. Is the surgery safe?

Spaying and neutering are straightforward operations, and ones that your vet will have performed dozens of times before. It's natural to feel nervous, but you can also feel confident that you are doing the best thing for your kitten.

Your vet will probably ask you not to feed your kitten the evening before the operation. This is because she will have a general anesthetic.

Before the surgery takes place, the vet will need to shave a small area of her fur, so don't be shocked when you spot a small bald area after the operation.

The procedure is straightforward when you are neutering a male (removing the testes). A female spay (removing the ovaries and uterus), is considered major surgery, but is a routine procedure and the risk is minimal.

2. Will my kitten gain weight?

The change in hormonal balance after spaying and neutering will slow down your cat's metabolism slightly, making him or her more prone to weight gain. For that reason you will probably have to adjust the amount of food you're feeding. You need to take care that you feed the correct kitten food in the right quantities. After your kitten becomes an adult (about one year old), your vet may recommend a food that will help control your cat's weight.

3. What else should I know?

The good news is that you can usually take your kitten home the same day as the procedure. Some veterinary clinics will keep your kitten overnight. Remember, it's normal for her to sleep a lot over the next few hours while her body adjusts after the anesthetic. She may attempt normal activity the next day, but try to keep her relatively calm for a week so she can heal properly. The stitches, or sutures (required for females, though not usually for males), are usually removed after seven to 10 days.


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